Fearless Women: Emily Zering’s fearless mindset


D. Elaine Eaton

Through her involvement on campus and her teaching style, Emily Zering is one of many powerful women actively shaping Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Through her involvement on campus and her teaching style, Emily Zering is one of many powerful women actively shaping Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Zering is the director of Marketing for NSU and an assistant professor of the Department of New Media, Journalism and Communication Arts.

From North Carolina, Zering attended Penn State University for her undergraduate education completing a bachelor’s degree in media studies. She then moved to Louisiana in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree at Louisiana State University. Shortly after, in 2015, she moved to Natchitoches and enrolled at NSU to pursue a master’s in art.

Her career goals have always been at the heart of marketing. Zering explained that managing small businesses’ media presence has been one of her prominent ambitions.

“Working with small businesses to develop their brands and manage the ever-changing landscape of technology,” Zering said about her goals.

Her career hopes evolved when she got the opportunity of a graduate assistantship at NSU, leading her into her teaching journey.

“It was random, but I’m glad that it happened,” Zering said. “It was a happy adjustment.”

However, she has invested time outside of work to do other projects to expand her knowledge. Zering had the opportunity to work as the director of communications and social strategy at the Cane River Brewing Company for two years.

“It tapped into a lot of things that I care about personally,” Zering said. “Historic preservation, refurbishment of old spaces, keeping the history and keeping the things that make them what they are but bringing them into our current landscape so the building can be a part of a thriving time.”

Zering believes engaging in outside projects enhances a person’s teaching.

“Social media is constantly changing so I think that it is important for anybody teaching in communications to be involved in projects in combination with their teaching,” Zering said.

For Zering, the part of NSU closest to her heart is teaching.

“My favorite thing about working at NSU is the students. I love working with students and seeing their work, development and creativity,” Zering said.

She expressed the importance of teaching students not only the necessary components of their courses, but also to find their creativity and confidence within themselves.

“I think that students sign up to class to learn specific skills and we do that,” Zering said. “But I also think that it is equally important for students to learn how to be resilient, be confident in themselves, to be able to give and receive criticism in productive and mature ways.”

Reflecting back on her own undergrad years, Zering disclosed that she was afraid of failure.

“When I was in college, I was quite afraid to mess up. I had grown up in a very competitive athletic world and a very competitive academic world where messing up meant that you were falling behind,” Zering said. “I could not tolerate in my brain the idea of not being at the top of something.”

Since then she has realized the importance of those lessons and the way that they have shaped her life. Zering takes her own experiences and then uses them to influence how she teaches her students. She hopes as a teacher she is able to make students feel more empowered in themselves.

“I try to approach life with a fearless mindset,” Zering said. “I don’t think that given the gift of time and existence that we’ve been given that it is a productive thing to spend that time worrying about things that have not happened or that are out of our control.”

Zering gathers insight from family, friends and well-known people. Ranging from artists like Corina Kent, athletes like Mia Hamm or personal friends, Zering looks to the meaning behind their work and work ethic and applies it to her life.

“All these women in my life that I look up to, I’m inspired not about what they’re doing, but about how they are doing it,” Zering said. “So when I’m feeling a little less sure of myself I look to them to see examples of people who are doing a good job of living in the moment and helping people.”